The Bearing Drift/Conquest Communications poll on the Virginia gubernatorial race finds Democrat Terry McAuliffe at 36, Republican Ken Cuccinelli at 35 and Libertarian Robert Sarvis at 11 percent, with nearly 19 percent of likely voters undecided. The poll’s margin of error is five percentage points, and the partisan split is 35.5 percent Republican, 30.5 percent Democrat, 3.8 percent Libertarian, 27.8 percent independent and 2.5 percent other.

The split here diverges from other polls, which have assumed that the 2013 electorate will look far more like it did in the 2012 presidential year than has historically been the case for Virginia’s off-year elections. Recall that in 2009, that electorate was +4 Republican over Democrat.

Even with a more traditional off-year split, the race is a statistical tie. That’s a bad headline for the Cuccinelli campaign. Deeper inside the numbers, though, we see some of the reasons why, at least according to this polling snapshot, the race is still up for grabs.

[Continue reading Norman Leahy’s post at Bearing Drift.]

Norman Leahy blogs at Bearing Drift. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.